Football

Wayne Rooney's days at Manchester United could be numbered if performances don't improve

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Many questions are often asked of Wayne Rooney as he carries the weight and expectations of Manchester United fans and fellow teammates on his shoulders.

The Red Devils captain is undoubtedly a United legend, featuring in a team that has won five Premier League titles, but his performances so far this season have left the Old Trafford faithful confused and disappointed on many occasions.

Many claim the 30-year-old just needs to be rested, while other critics have been more damning in their analysis of the former Everton striker.

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After last Wednesday's goalless clash against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League and Saturday's draw with Leicester City, it is difficult not to be critical of United's strikers. Another clean sheet and lack of goalscoring threat in the former is becoming all too familiar with fans.

With United currently boasting the best defensive record in the Premier League this season yet only having scored 20 goals in 14 outings, it's plain to see who United fans' frustration and criticism will be aimed at.

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Following the 0-0 draw, Rooney said: "We need to score more goals as a team, I feel we showed a lack of composure which put ourselves under pressure a lot of times.

"It’s a learning curve for us, but we can’t keep on saying it’s a learning curve. We have to start turning these games into victories."

Louis van Gaal appears adamant on starting Rooney even despite his lack of contribution, but there is a fast growing consensus that the Englishman isn't the man to lead United forwards.

Former footballer and columnist Stan Collymore said, as per the Mirror: "The question is getting louder, is Rooney any longer a footballer who will win you the Premier League? And, sadly, I don’t think he is."

Meanwhile, United great Roy Keane was similarly critical of Rooney's recent performances.

"He doesn't look sharp, he looks awful. Mentally he doesn't look really sharp; physically he doesn't look in great shape. He needs to have a look at himself."

The statistics aren't in favour of the Englishman either, epitomised by his performance against high-flying Leicester over the weekend:

Even England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted Rooney's place in the squad for the Euros isn't guaranteed, such is the captain's declining influence in games.

There is little doubting Rooney's ability, but the question remains: how much longer will Louis van Gaal persist with the striker before he takes the same ruthless approach as his predecessors and show him the exit? Not long, one can imagine, unless he can soon prove his worth.

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Topics:
Premier League
Football
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney

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